My kids are 16 y.o. and 12 y.o.
Yes, hormones do a number on our brains. I think it's long term, if not permanent.
For me, what led to me to be paranoid with my first child -or actually I was hyper vigilant- was that I felt completely inadequate to be a mother. Dd was unexpected, unplanned and I was having a very difficult time getting my own life together. Holy shit, now I'm responsible for the health and well being of another whole person?? A teeny, completely helpless person at that?? My anxiety went through the roof. This was real, not just noodling around with bad grades in school or being late to work.
And frankly I hated that a part of my heart was now and forever outside of my body, out there in the world. Vulnerable to accidents and misdeeds.
After a while I felt like if I worried enough about the worst possible scenarios I might keep them at bay. Worrying was a talisman.
OY. It got better. Actually I need medication to keep it reigned in, but gaining some confidence in my parenting helped a whole lot, as well.
Now, the good news is that, while of course I do worry sometimes about my kids, the *paranoia* is gone, if you see what I mean. Give it some time mama. It will get better.
Yes, that's a great distinction. I do worry, and always will. But I'm not wracked with irrational fears anymore.
Edited to add: I agree, cut out the doom and gloom news. Local tv news and the metro section of the news paper, certain article online, with all the murders, rape and abuse. I gain NOTHING by absorbing this stuff and it only sends me into a spiral of sadness and worry.